Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mint Chocolate Truffle Tart

If you insist on serving something light and vegetabley at your holiday dinner parties, then I think it's kind of mandatory to reward your guests with something decadent and rich for dessert.

I knew I wanted to serve a minty dessert, since mint to me means holiday.  Why this is, I've no idea...maybe because candy canes are sort of minty?  Whatever.  I wanted a punch-you-in-the-face mint flavor, WITHOUT using any mint extract because I think most extracts taste artificial and chemical-laden.

I diligently did my google research, searching mint tart recipes and stumbled upon this one.  You know, taking recipes off a blog is a risky venture (yeah I mean mine, too!).  You never know if you can trust the recipe-writer, or if your tastes match theirs.  What a lovely surprise to find this tart was absolutely delicious, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture and outstanding chocolate-mint flavor.  The texture of the filling is exactly that of a truffle.  The crust is the perfect combination of chocolately sweetness with a nice mellow saltiness and rich butteriness.

Best of all, this tart is so darn easy to make and you can make it in advance of your party.  I just recommend taking it out of the fridge to come to room temperature before serving - that really makes the flavors pop.

Mint Chocolate Truffle Tart, adapted from Not So Humble Pie
Makes 16 small slices

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into little pieces
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
40 fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 bags semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp butter

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, pulse together the powdered sugar, flour, cocoa powder, and salt.  Add butter and pulse some more until it makes a small pebbles texture (I over processed and it ended up like fine sand - that's OK, it still works).  If you don't have a food processor, use forks or knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.  Press the mixture into an 11 inch tart pan, or large pie pan.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Heat your cream until it's simmering.  Tear up your mint leaves, or crush them to release the flavor and add to the hot cream.  Remove cream from heat and let the mint leaves steep in the cream for 20-30 minutes.  Strain out the mint leaves.

In a double boiler (heat-safe bowl resting over a pot of simmering water), slowly stir together your mint-flavored cream, chocolate chips, and butter.  Once it's all melted together, it will be a thick, glossy, dark chocolate mixture.  Pour over your cooled crust, and refrigerate to set.

Let come to room temperature before serving.  I had some leftover cream in the pint I bought for this recipe so I whipped it up and added it for garnish.

ONE YEAR AGO:  Banana, Chocolate, and Pumpkin Waffles
TWO YEARS AGO:  Green and Lean Loaf